I’m writing to you from the other side. No, I have not died– I am recovered from the very beast who is trying to destroy you. I truly understand your pain, because I once felt it, too. And now, my heart aches for you because I remember the hurt all too well. However, I am not here to dwell on the pain. Rather, I am here to reassure you that there is hope and you are strong enough to recover.
Please don’t compare yourself to the sick girls on the internet. They may appear on social media accounts, perhaps in articles about girls recovered from anorexia, and there are even blogs claiming to be recovery focused but are actually quite triggering. Comparison is the thief of joy, and with Ed ruling your mind, you have very little true joy to spare.
Instead, focus on your strength. Turn the “self control” over food into fueling your recovery. Put the diligence of compulsive exercise into consistently going to therapy (and actively participating). Kindle that selfless love in your heart that you give to everyone else and channel it toward loving yourself. You are inherently good and you deserved love– and it starts with loving the person you are right now, flaws and all.
Be patient, because these things take time to achieve. Recovery does not happen overnight, nor should it. Recovery is a beautiful, breathtaking journey that deserves to be relished. It is scary the majority of the time, but like my favorite quote says, “Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll just have to do it afraid,” (anonymous). Eventually, recovery doesn’t seem scary anymore, and it even becomes fun! You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
I am recovered, and I’ve never been happier. I am more confident than I’ve ever been, more self aware, and content. I eat and exercise intuitively and am happy with my body’s natural set point; I no longer get flustered by weight fluctuations. My life is certainly not perfect, but I am so pleased with how it has turned out and continues to evolve. Every day is an adventure, and it is oh, so exciting.
You are more than the number on the scale, the size of your jeans, and the calories you eat or restrict. You are more than a prisoner to the demon in your head who won’t stop the madness until you are dead– or until you fight back. Pick up your sword and fight with everything you have. Hate Ed with every fiber of your being and don’t quit the battles until you have come out victorious. You are beautiful, you are pure, you are good, strong, brave, smart, and resilient. Now put on your battle gear, and slay. I believe in you! Catch ya on the flip side (the better side)!